By Jumah Nsubuga
Parliament committee of education and sports chaired by Mityana district woman MP Sylvia Namabidde has strongly recommended government to identify teacher’s 20% salary increment before parliament approves the 2013/14 budget.
While presenting the committee’s ministerial policy statement report at the floor of parliament, the vice chairperson of the committee Jacob Opolot said that, the continued reluctance by the government to fulfill its earlier commitment toward improving the teachers welfare has led teachers into alternative ways of finding an additional income to make up for the little pay or abandon the profession altogether.
“This situation has also led to the persistent problem of poor quality of education because of absenteeism and poor service delivery by teachers and budget leakages due to ghost teachers among other challenges” Hon Opolot noted while presenting the committee report.
The committee further applauded to the development that attempts to erode the good working relationship and patriotism amongst the teachers.
Mean all legislators agreed with the committee report especially of not to approval the budget before teachers 20% is found.
“I would like to thank the committee for coming up with such a recommendation about teacher’s salary increment. Teachers salary should be increased by 20%. I encourage the ministry of education to make sure that the teachers money is found to enable our children go in classes on Monday” Said Namutumba district woman MP Florence Mutyabule (NRM)
“I thank the committee for its resolution of not approving this year’s budget before settling teacher’s issues. Government should learn to address teachers polite. We should not wait voting time to come and work on people’s concerns” Said Iganga district woman MP Olive Kabale (NRM).
“I am 100% behind the committee recommendation about the increment of teacher’s salary. We should make a cut across the budgets of all ministries so that we can raise teachers money to prevent teachers go on strike next week” Said Hon Nyekorach William PWD MP northern region (NRM)
“The issue of teachers cannot be emphasized. Teacher’s money must be found by all ways. There is a pending strike on Monday over teacher’s salary increment. I would like to warn all RDCs not to force teachers go to class by Monday. I will also join teachers in a peaceful demonstration scheduled on Monday next week to fight for their rights” Said Kitgum district woman MP Betty Anywar (FDC)
“Government should stop intimidating teachers by directing RDCs to force teachers go in classes. Teacher are fighting for their rights and they have a right to salary” Said Hon Gilbert Oulanyah (FDC)
Meanwhile the ministry of education said that they are in negotiations with teachers on the way forward.
State minister for sports Charles Bakabulindi told parliament that teachers issue cannot stop parliament from debating and pass the budget. “We hope to conclude teachers issue by Monday next week but I beg parliament to debate and pass the budget as government is handling teacher’s issue” Minister Bakabulundi noted.
“As ministry, I wish to request for more time to reorganize ourselves. He said that by Monday, the ministry will be done with teacher’s issue” Bakabulindi said.
Government should stop coming here and tell lies to the public. Every time government is in negotiations with teachers over salary increment. We are tied of government lies. What we want this time is 20% increment for teachers. Failure to do so, we are not going to approve this year’s budget because government is trying to move away with its commitment” Said Ishaka municipality MP Odo Tayebwa (FDC)
“The budget committee should be given the mandate to identify were the money can be found within the budget” Abdu Katuntu (FDC).
“We should cut the budget of different ministries travels, workshops and motor vehicle repairs and find teachers money” Said Hon Wilberforce Yaguma (NRM).
State minister of finance and planning Mathias Kashaija said that Government provided 4% of the 20% salary increment. Am going to consult my technical officers and I will report back to the house on teachers matter.
The speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga has differed the debate of teachers 20% increment to next week. She has also directed the ministry of finance to cooperate with parliament budget committee and come up with a report on teacher’s salary increment and report back to parliament next week.
“You should cut the ministries travels, vehicle allowance and workshops and find teachers money. We must find teachers money next week” Speaker Kadaga ordered.